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Law enforcement cracks down on illegal fishing activities

Law enforcement cracks down on illegal fishing activities

The Tacloban City Fishery Law Enforcement Team (FLET) has confiscated a motorized banca and fishing equipment used in illegal fishing activities. Photo: FLET Tacloban/Facebook

TACLOBAN CITY – The Tacloban City Fishery Law Enforcement Team (FLET) carried out an operation that involved seizing a motorized banca and fishing equipment being used for illegal activities in the San Juanico Strait. The operation took place on July 29 at 11:10 PM, when seaborne patrol elements, accompanied by a PNP escort, intercepted the illegal fishing activities about 100 meters from the shores of Barangay 97, Cabalawan.

The fishermen were caught using a banned fishing technique known as "compressor fishing," which involves using a compressor to pump air into hoses for underwater breathing. This practice is illegal under City Ordinance No. 2005-9-76 and has detrimental effects on coral reefs and fish populations in the area.

Despite the authorities' efforts to apprehend the perpetrators, the fishermen escaped and abandoned their motorized banca at sea. The authorities suspect that the fishermen were from Samar and had not obtained the necessary permits for transient fishing vessels, which is a violation of Section 20 of City Ordinance No. 2016-12-89.

Consequently, the owner of the confiscated motorized banca could face fines of up to P2 million, while the offending fishermen may be fined not less than P36,000 each.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred in the region. In the previous month, FLET had apprehended two local residents using improvised fishing contraptions, highlighting the need for stricter enforcement of fishing regulations.

In response to these violations, Felix Dumlao, the head of FLET, has vowed to intensify the information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign on local and national fishing laws. The initiative aims to educate and engage local fishermen to protect the marine ecosystem and prevent further violations.

The city government of Tacloban is taking these actions seriously to safeguard its marine resources and maintain the balance of its fragile coastal ecosystems. —iTacloban (Source: CIO)

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